Georgia assesses climate change impact, plans next steps in building climate-proof society

UNDP assists Georgia to report its progress in addressing climate change

June 17, 2021

Photo: Nino Zedginidze/UNDP

To accelerate climate action and to fulfil international commitments in addressing climate change, the Government of Georgia submitted a national report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The ‘Fourth National Communication of Georgia under the UNFCCC’ describes the country’s progress in implementing its commitments to the Convention, adapting to climate change and mitigating its adverse effects. The report includes an updated greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory that provides a detailed account of emissions from 1990 to 2017.

Among the most striking findings:

  • The average annual temperature in Georgia keeps increasing. In comparing two 30-year periods (1956–1985 and 1986–2015), the average annual temperature increased by 0.25 to 0.58 degrees Celsius in most regions and by 0.63 to 0.73 degrees Celsius in bigger cities and some districts.
  • With the current rate of global GHG emissions, the average annual temperature increase in Georgia can leap by 3.7 degree Celsius by 2100, far beyond the ‘safe’ increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • From 1990 to 2017, Georgia’s domestic GHG emissions equalled 462 million tons of carbon dioxide, only 31 percent of which was absorbed by forests.
  • If Georgia succeeds in implementing the mitigation measures outlined by its national strategies and action plans, its annual amount of GHG emissions can be reduced by 5 million tons by 2030 compared to a business-as-usual scenario.

The ‘Fourth National Communication’ was revealed to the public today at an online event organized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The event brought together government representatives (the Environmental Information and Education Centre and the National Environmental Agency), academics, national climate change experts and representatives from civil society organizations that were involved in preparing the report (World Experience for Georgia and Georgia’s Environmental Outlook).

“Reporting to the UN Convention helps us assess the progress made over the years and plan the next steps towards a climate-resilient society,” said Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Nino Tandilashvili.  

“National climate reports are useful documents for policymakers and the public at large,” said UNDP Acting Head Anna Chernyshova. “To address the climate emergency, we need trustworthy information on where we stand based on reliable data and scientific research.”

Georgia is a signatory to key international agreements on climate change, including the 1994 UNFCCC, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol (Georgian joined in 1999) and the 2016 Paris Agreement. As part of its international commitments, Georgia submits National Communications to the UNFCCC every four years. Earlier in 2021, Georgia updated its Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement, pledging to unconditionally reduce its GHG emissions to 35 percent below its 1990 baseline level.

UNDP is supporting Georgia’s climate commitments and efforts to build a climate-resilient society by working closely with the Government and international partners, such as the European Union, the GEF, the Green Climate Fund and the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland.

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